kanye west no child left behind donda

Kanye West – Pure Souls Ft. Roddy Ricch & Shenseea | Lyrics Meaning Explained

“Pure Souls” is the twenty-first track on Kanye West’s 2021 album ‘DONDA.’ The song features vocals by Roddy Ricch and Shenseea marking their first-ever collaboration with Ye. In the song, artists rap about not having to sin to be where they are today. They claim their souls are still pure and intact.

Donda’ is Kanye West’s tenth studio album released on August 29, 2021, after being teased and delayed multiple times. Kanye West held two listening parties for the album at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta leading up to the album release, and the third party in Chicago. This track was played at the second listening party.

In the song, Roddy Ricch brings up the infamous Kanye West-Grammy award controversy from September 2020. Ye posted a video of him urinating on one of his Grammy awards dumped in his toilet. Roddy Ricch went on Instagram Live to condemn Ye’s act.

Listen to “Pure Souls” by Kanye West Ft. Roddy Ricch

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Kanye West “Pure Souls” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review


In these lyrics, Roddy Ricch sings how they have come up in the world from being nameless to being some of the most recognized artists in the world. But he is proud to say that he did not have to sell his soul to get to this position. He could be referring to artists who rely on dissing other artists to gain clout or do pitiful stunts to gain recognition. For example, Tekashi’s whose musical prowess lies in auto-tune and eye-candy women in music videos.

Verse 1

In the first verse of the song, Roddy Ricch sings about his come-up and how he has been able to remain at the top of the game for so long. He says he is a product of whatever the environment he grew up in.

Roddy also addresses his 2020 Grammy Awards flop, winning zero awards after being nominated for 6. He says he called up Kanye and said that these people do not recognize true talent and art. Ye infamously had urinated on his Grammy awards at this point. So, we can only imagine Roddy and Ye were on the same page about the awards ceremony. However, Roddy clarifies that he holds no grudge against the awards ceremony.

Finally, Roddy says that he came from the trenches, referring to the bottom-most level one can start from. Trenches are below ground level. This was the environment he grew up in and what molded him.

Verse 2

In the second verse, Kanye West goes to sing about how he came up to be who he is among all of his friends and family who could not. They were given the same odds, but Kanye made it work for him while others were distracted by temporary means of earning bread. He talks about his relatives who stole and plundered to make ends meet. Anybody can laugh and mock Kanye for his behavior and all his controversies, but no one can deny the level of ascension he has had in hip-hop.

After all of the jokes, I’m the one that was chose

Ye also addresses his hater saying that Kanye isn’t even in the same lane as them. ‘Lane’ refers to the stature they hold in the music game. Kanye West mocks these people by saying that how are they going to ask about him not being in the same lane when they are riding shotgun in Ye’s car!

Ye also talks about the time he went to meet ex-president Donald Trump about releasing Larry Hoover Sr. He talks about the same topic in “Jesus Lord” on the album. Kanye is selfless. He says that he can afford to give a dollar to every living man on Earth, which would require over 7 billion dollars. Ye has a personal net worth of around $2 billion, while his Yeezy brand is estimated at a value of around $6.6 billion. The latter number can almost cover the entire population of Earth with $1 per person. He wonders if this is God’s plan for him. Knowing how Kanye is, he might actually do this.

But he says that a person’s worth is not how much wealth they have accumulated. A person is as worth as how much he can give to others–even a smile or a kind word is counted for this.


In these lyrics, Kanye talks about his newfound faith in Lord. He says people will have to get used to the new him because this is his calling right now. He knows he is living the right purpose now. He is stronger than ever with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (The Trinity) behind him. Ye spazzes that the devil has no chance against him with his strong faith and the Trinity to back him up.

Father, Holy Spirit, let loose on me
Father, I’m Yours exclusively
Devil get behind me, I’m loose, I’m free


The outro is performed by Shenseea, who repeats a line Kanye had spoken before; “The truth is only what you get away with.” This lyric alludes to the fact that no one can hope to live a life of lies and get away with them in the eyes of God. He sees everything and He knows all the sides of the story. One can manipulate their story all they want for us mortals. But God will be the final judge, jury, and execution. So, do a favor to yourselves and be morally good–live and let live.

Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.

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